Championship-caliber LAX teams lauded

Westfield’s Jordan Kowalski (26) carries the ball upfield against Longmeadow. (THE WESTFIELD NEWS FILE PHOTO)

WESTFIELD – The Westfield High School girls lacrosse team with a star-studded lineup of multi-sport athletes was poised for an amazing run in 2020 and then – – POOF! – – COVID-19 struck, delaying and then ultimately canceling the entire spring sports season for student-athletes all across the country.
“We were very excited … it was going to be a good season,” Westfield High School girls lacrosse head coach Paul Fenwick said. “What these seniors were doing in other sports during their senior year, it’s amazing what they were able to accomplish, to step up and achieve above and beyond.”
Westfield’s 2020 lax roster would have been comprised of nine seniors, some of whom hailed from the girls soccer team which went all the way to the state finals, the basketball team which enjoyed a resurgence behind 1,000 point scorer Olivia Hadla, and the girls volleyball team which continued to excel under the tutelage of coach Tyler Wingate.
“All of these teams were clicking and players were achieving great feats,” coach Fenwick said.
Having only graduated three seniors in 2019, Westfield girls lax was set to return nine seniors: Kyana Alvarado, Meghan Clark, Samantha Gustafson, Hadla, Samantha Kaubris, Jordan Kowalski, Mackenzie Liptak, Claire Smith, and Shannon Sullivan.
Kowalski, who was coming off a successful 2019-20 girls ice hockey campaign with the Longmeadow co-op team and is headed to the SUNY Plattsburgh to further her career on the ice, Liptak and Hadla were each chasing career milestones in girls lacrosse, all within reach before the coronavirus canceled the season.
“We all got caught by surprise,” coach Fenwick said.
Fenwick said he was in a coaches’ meeting when he received an e-mail alerting his staff that the season would not start that following Monday and would be delayed by two weeks.
“We knew, at that time, that it probably would not be just two weeks but two months,” Fenwick said. “It’s disheartening. …These kids have lost out a lot – prom, senior weeks, graduation. None of it will be the same.”

Westfield’s Nick Clauson (11) goes airborne with an overhand shot that results in a goal. (THE WESTFIELD NEWS FILE PHOTO)

Westfield High School boys lacrosse head coach Mark Cavallon was equally disappointed for his team’s lost season.
“We were expecting to be in the West-Central championship game,” coach Cavallon said. “We were loaded. Our guys were prepared to do great things. Anything less than a championship would have been a real disappointment. I’m not being arrogant; we were just going to be that good.”
Cavallon said very few of his senior classes have put in as much work as this one did with several Bombers participating in individual workouts, summer and fall teams, and preseason practices at Roots, claiming their dedication was “unsurpassed.”
More seniors from this year’s squad made varsity during their first two years on the team than any other during Cavallon’s coaching career. More seniors from this class are also going on to play in college than any team in the program’s history, according to the head coach.
That stellar 2020 senior class includes: Matt Bacon (Bentley College), Aidan Boyle (Assumption), Daniel Buckelew, Will Cameron (Bentley), Gavin Carzello (Springfield College), Nick Clauson (Asnuntuck), Reid Hannan (Post), Nick Mee (AIC), Christian Nalepinski (WSU – football), Tyler Shrewsbury (AIC), and Cam Foster.
It may have been a lost season, but these seniors are likely be remembered for a long time to come.

To Top